The Family Health Guide

When You Visit Your Doctor - Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease

Questions to Discuss with Your Doctor:

  • Do you get a burning sensation in your chest or throat after eating?
  • Do you ever have a bitter or sour taste in your mouth?
  • Do you ever have bloating or nausea after you eat?
  • How often do you get these symptoms?
  • Are the symptoms related to physical exertion?
  • Are the symptoms worse when you are lying down or sitting up?
  • Do you have black stools? Are you vomiting blood?
  • Do you have a persistent cough?
  • Do you have asthma or diabetes?
  • Do you have a history of ulcer disease?
  • Are you taking any medications that can cause bleeding (e.g., aspirin, other NSAIDs, corticosteroids)?
  • Do you drink alcohol or smoke?
  • Do you drink caffeine-containing beverages?
  • Do you eat a lot of dietary fat?
  • How soon after you eat at night do you go to bed?
  • Have you tried any over-the-counter medications? If so, do they help?

Your Doctor Might Examine the Following Body Structures or Functions:

  • Chest and lung exam
  • Abdominal exam and rectal exam (if there is a history of bloody stools)

Your Doctor Might Order the Following Lab Tests or Studies:

  • Upper GI or barium swallow
  • Upper endoscopy (internal examination of the esophagus and stomach)
  • pH probe (to assess the acid level in the esophagus and stomach)
  • Manometry (to measure the pressure of the sphincter between the esophagus and the stomach)
  • Stool testing for blood
  • Complete blood cell count (if there is a history of blood loss in the stool or vomit)